Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Homemade Naan Breads

Coriander and Garlic Naan breads

I used to be buying naan breads all the time so decided to make spending cuts and make my own. They are a little time consuming but well worth it. This recipe makes about 14-15 breads for a fraction of the price. Then freeze whatever you don’t use for the next time.

NB. I have the temperature of my grill on a medium-high heat. Each grill is going to differ so jus keep a close eye on your first few until you get into a rhythm. And remember it doesn’t matter if you burn a few… like I did!!
Makes 14-15:
4 and a half cups of strong flour
1 cup of warm water
A quarter cup of white sugar
Sachet of dried yeast
3 tablespoons of milk
1 egg beaten
2 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
A small bunch of fresh parsley
A quarter cup of melted butter


  1. In a mixing bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Leave it a few mins while you get rest of ingredients together.

  1. Stir in the sugar, milk, egg, salt and flour and make into a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 8-10 mins. Then place it into an oiled bowl with a damp tea towel over it and let it rise for an hour.

  1. Punch the air out of it after the hour and knead in the minced garlic and coriander for a few mins. Tear off ‘golf ball’ sized pieces and roll into balls. Place them on a tray, cover and allow to rise for another 30 mins.

  1. While they are rising preheat a grill and oil the grill the surface.

  1. After the 30 mins roll out 2 of the portions thinly (about 3mm) and place on the grill. Grill for a few mins until the surface has jus started to blister and very lightly colour. Turn them over; lightly brush the uncooked surface with melted butter and sprinkle on some chopped parsley. Grill this side for another few mins until browned then turn over and brush the first side with melted butter, adding some more chopped parsley and cook for a further few mins until puffy and browned.

  1. Repeat these steps for the remaining portions.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

All Hail New Spuds!!!

First New Potatoes Of The Year

I'm very very excited, I have just dug, cooked and ate the first stalk of spuds this year (obviously the actual spuds not the stalk). Man I forgot how good they are straight out of the ground. The earlies I have in are Maris Peers.

I just gave them a quick scrub then put them into a steamer pot, to boil them would be an absolute crime and im personally not ready to commit crimes against home grown spuds!!!!

Now ive got a funny idea shares in Kerrygold  butter are gonna sky rocket because, so help me God i go through pounds of the stuff with new spuds. Coincidently there is a good chance shares in pacemakers could rise too if I keep this up!! 

So there you have it, new spuds and one very happy camper, so much so I had to do this short post to pay homage to the mighty SHPUD!!!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Growing in mid-June

Ok i'm going to have to start on a bum note... I have gone through 3 packets of carrot seeds so far this year and no results! Most haven't germinated and any that has only reached about a cm before dying off... so fingers crossed for packet number 4!!!
Right now thats the grumbling over and done with!!!
I planted a courgette plant in a small patio container just to prove to people that even if they think they dont have the room to grow your own that it is possible this way!

My cucumbers are growing well this year as they came to nothing last year. Check out the climbing structure... I always find it fascinating that what starts as a little seed can turn into this strong intelligent  climbing plant. 

In the salad bed the Florence Fennel is growing really well and i'm looking forward to having some in a fish dish or 2 later in the summer.

Some tiny cherry tomatoes are starting to come in the greenhouse.
 Blueberries are growing well too for only being planted in the spring, again simply grown in a container. As im sure you already know Blueberries are ridiculously priced in the shops so why not grow a bush or two yourself and have a fresh supply in the summer.

During the weekend i got my celery and celeriac planted out in the 2nd bed.

The courgettes have finally come to their senses and perked up a bit because for 2 weeks there they were looking quite wilted.

This time of year, especially in the green house everything needs a regular watering even if you think your are being robbed of a proper summer so far!!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Smoked Coley Lasagne

Smoked Coley Lasagne

served with salad

This dish has become a firm favourite in our house. It’s very tasty and its low fat, which while trying to keep fit helps a lot. Smoked Coley tastes basically the same as Smoked Haddock but it is more sustainable and therefore a more cheaper alternative. I priced it this morning in the super market and the Smoked Coley was 5.99 per KG as opposed to Smoked Haddock at 15.99 per KG so it is a no brainer really, especially if you are on a budget. Just make sure all the bones are removed from the fillets.

Serves 2-4:

200g smoked Coley fillets 
600mls skimmed milk
2 tablespoons corn flour
1-2 fish/chicken stock cubes
2 teaspoons of wholegrain mustard
Fresh chopped chives
50g low fat cheese
Pasta sheets (fresh or dried)
Frozen sweetcorn
Sea salt & black pepper


  1. Preheat oven at 200Âșc. Skin and cut fillets into chunks. Grate all the cheese. Set aside.

  1. Mix a little drop of milk with the corn flour to make a paste. Put remaining milk into a saucepan and heat gently. When warm add in the paste and stir, add in the chives, half the cheese and crumble in the stock cube(s). Turn up the temperature until it is fine and hot and add in the mustard, lower the heat again. Simmer until it is the consistency of double cream.

  1. In a lasagne dish put a layer of haddock and a small handful of sweetcorn, pour some sauce over, season well and top with pasta sheets. Repeat this again and on top layer pour remainder of sauce and sprinkle the other half of grated cheese.

  1. Bung into oven for 30 mins. serve with chips or a salad. It’s just that simple!
layer with chunks of Smoked Coley and sweetcorn

layer with fresh or dried lasagne sheets

pour the remaining sauce over the top

top off with some low fat cheese

served with chips

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Elderflower Champagne

Elderflower Champagne

Elderflowers can be seen all around the countryside at the moment. Be sure to pick the ones away from roads though as they will be dusty and coated in exhaust fumes. Try to pick the flowers around noon/early afternoon when they will be in full bloom. I first made this last year and, had I have known it was going to be so tasty I would have made a lot more. So this year I am ready for action, I hope to make enough to last until Christmas!! This is following Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and River Cottage's recipe just tweaked a little bit to suit my own tastes. I use sterilized screw-top wine bottles to bottle it in, sometimes the pressure that builds can blow the top off the swig-top bottles which I learned last year.

Makes about 6 litres:
4 litres of hot water and 2 of cold water
15 large (fully-bloomed) Elderflower heads
The zest and juice of 3 lemons
The zest and juice of 2 Oranges
700g sugar
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar


  1. Dissolve the sugar in the hot water in a suitable sized container (a new very clean bucket is best) and top up with the cold water.
  2. With a speedy peeler peel just the zest off the lemons and oranges and squeeze the juice out into the bucket, add the zest and the white wine vinegar too.
  3. Cut as much of the stems off as possible on the flower heads and add the flowers to the bucket.
  4. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool airy place for a few days. Take a sneak peak at this stage and it should be fermenting (bubbles and foaming a little) if not you can add a pinch of dried yeast but it should be fine as the flower heads contain natural yeast.
  5. Leave covered for another few days to ferment and then strain in a sieve lined with a muslin cloth and funnel into your sterilized bottles and screw the lids on tightly. Allow to ferment for 2 weeks before serving chilled.
  6. I placed my bottles into a spare bath tub to ferment as sometimes a bottle could blow its top with the build up of pressure. The champagne will keep in the bottles for a year.

Bloom 2011

On Sunday I went to the Bloom in the park in Dublin's Phoenix Park, it was such a great experience.
I was particularly interested in the food section and the growing your own sections. I literally could have spent all day... all weekend walking around and tasting all the great samples all the stalls had to offer but I gotta say the nicest thing I tasted was from the Ballymaloe stall and it was so simple, a cream cracker, Ballymaloe cheese and some Ballymaloe cranberry sauce... man I can still taste it (even after a fair share of Dublin's finest Guinness).

I dont know how I managed to do it but i picked the only day that was cold and kinda wet... and being in a pair of shorts and t-shirt I really wasn't equipped for the weather. I have really got the notion that I want to keep bee's but I really need to look into it more. Ciara on the other hand has her sights set in pigs... I guess she is kinda used to living with me for a while (my side of the bedroom is kept like a pig-sty alright). So we were both checking out the stalls which tickled our fancies.

I also gotta say that the whole event was really well set up and fair play to Bord Bia ... Everything was so accessible and welcoming!

We also got a chance to see a live cooking demo by celeb home cook and fellow blogger Donal Skehan, It was great to see and he defiantly wasn't short of confidence and flair. Donal has come such a long way in a short space of time. I got to have a chat to him after it and he knew me from my blog. He was a pro and a gentleman and had time for everyone... well done Donal. In case you dont know Donal has his site and is on RTE1 Monday evenings at 8.30 for Kitchen Hero his debut series.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Chatting to Hector 2!!

This morning I was talking to Hector O Heochagain on Breakfast with Hector on 2FM, I had been talking to him at the end of March when my blog had started up. This time our conversation stemmed mainly around the basic idea of sharing surplus 'crops' to friends, family and neighbours.

His blog mentions me today from our chat at

If you missed the interview you can catch it at I come in around 8 mins 20 secs.

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